Monday, July 04, 2005

A Fitting Fourth of July Gift

I came in late on the 3rd of July from an early party to celebrate the freedom that our nation claims to offer its citizens, and I checked my email for a while. By the time I retired to my living room to find something hypnotic to lull me to sleep, it was July 4th. To my surprise, I happened upon the new gay and lesbian themed television channel LOGO. This is a step forward for the gay and lesbian community in that LOGO is offered through the programming of DirecTV and is a free channel. GLBT people who live in remote areas where finding gay affirming images of themselves on television is limited to the Step-n-Fetchit type caricatures of shows like "Will and Grace" and movies like "The Bird Cage" can now watch quality films about our lives in the privacy of their own homes.

Are you old enough to remember when television only allowed white people to be depicted unless the blacks or native americans were made to look silly, stupid, immoral or dead? Has it occurred to you that television today has treated GLBT people in the same way? It has certainly crossed my mind. The Queer Eye guys are doing their best, but when they are nothing more than marketing puppets who move more "product", they are not particularly helpful to our liberation.

Sadly, the movie that was showing tonight was one that I have already seen and ironically, is a depiction of two men in a concentration camp where gay men and Jewish men are imprisoned and murdered for being who they are. Bent is a great film, but far too heavy for my mood tonight. With the resignation of Justice O'Connor and the predictions of doom for "society as we know it", I could easily see me and my friends dressed in dreary gray and black prison stripes, carrying rocks from one pile to another until we are shot between the eyes for being worthless in the view of the majority.

Nonetheless, I am thankful, oh so thankful for the freedom to watch people who are like me on my own television in my own home without having to answer to anyone else. Thank you, America, even though this is likely just another way to tap into the market that we as a minority represent to the system.

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